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Androcentric assumptions concerning economic activity – “only income-generating work is work”, “people are driven only by self-interest; they are independent, have no family duties, and take decisions autonomously; all human needs are covered by the market” – are far removed from the everyday lives and experiences of women. They are utterly out of touch with the realities of women’s lives. Looked at the economy from a heterodox perspective “The 5-Sector Model of the Economy” opens a broader view of the economy:
economic activities take place in the household sector, the for-profit sector, the public sector, the non-profit sector, and the illegal-criminal sector. Each sector has, for example, its own conception of the human being, of the rationalities that shape economic decision-making and its own concept of gender roles and gender relations. In this paper these fields of economic activity and these concepts will be discussed.
John Stuart and Harriet Taylor Mill wrote in On Liberty (1859): “The fatal tendency of mankind to leave off thinking about a thing when it is no longer doubtful is the cause of half their errors”. This has encouraged me to question the patriarchal history of economic thought, as well as to propose the ideas in this paper for further discussion.